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'People have overreacted': Panic-buying fuels 2nd day of Greater Victoria gas shortage

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Thursday marked the second day of frenzy at Greater Victoria gas stations, with many stations sold out of fuel and waiting to be resupplied.

Those gas shipments are slowly coming and experts say panic-buying at the pumps is making the situation worse.

After heavy rains washed out a portion of the Malahat highway, many people got spooked and began to fuel up their vehicles in case there was a gas shortage. Experts say that run on fuel actually created a fuel shortage.

“There is product available,” said Eric Gault, director of operations for Peninsula Co-op. “We just can’t get it through the bottleneck at this time.”

Gault says there is plenty of fuel on Vancouver Island. The problem is getting it over the Malahat from three storage facilities in Chemainus and Nanaimo.

As of Thursday morning, some fuel trucks had made it over the Malahat.

“For us, we took four loads of product and spread it around five locations this morning which certainly helped,” said Gault.

A Petro-Canada in Colwood also got a shipment overnight as well.

The good news is the gas you fill your car with on the island isn’t shipped through B.C.'s flood-ravaged mainland.

“I think people have overreacted,” said Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy.

McTeague says Vancouver Island gets most of its gas from three refineries in Washington state. The fuel gets barged to those storage facilities on the Mid-Island, directly from those refineries.

"There should not to be any type of shortages or very few anyways as far as Vancouver Island and us here in Victoria are concerned,” he said.

McTeague added that it could be a week or more before the supply catches up with demand. 

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